Wolves’ midfield could potentially have a very different look to it in 2022/23.
There has been the same small pool of options now at Molineux for the past few seasons.
Fans have been crying out for the engine room to be strengthened for some time.
But for reason or another, there has been a reluctance to spend a significant amount on a new addition for a while.
Surely this summer there will be a couple of new faces, but what of the current crop…?
Ruben Neves – SELL
No Wolves fan wants to see it. But there is now just a feeling of inevitability about Neves leaving Molineux this summer.
The maestro has been an absolutely delight to watch, and he has given five years of fantastic service to the club.
But he’s a player who has the quality to play for a Champions League club, and he has already hinted that he could depart. He also looked emotional after the games against Norwich City and Liverpool.
In an ideal world he would stay. But there is also a chance for Wolves to bring in a huge transfer fee that could be put towards overhauling the team – which is something that is really needed.
Some publications have reported there is a £70 million asking price set by Wolves.
That might be too high for some suitors.
But hopefully, Fosun can absolutely smash the club record for a player sale, which is currently Diogo Jota to Liverpool for £45 million.
Joao Moutinho – KEEP
Moutinho’s contract is expiring, but the club are trying to keep him and the player wants to stay.
Currently, the sticking point is that Moutinho wants another two years. Wolves really only want to give him one.
Hopefully Wanderers are able to get it sorted and keep the player, because he really bounced back in 2021/22 after a poor previous season.
He had some fantastic outings, and earlier in the campaign Lage said that Moutinho was feeling more like a 28-year-old rather than his actual 35-year-old self.
He is still a class-act, and is a big personality and leader in that dressing room. He surely has one more season left in him.
Leander Dendoncker – KEEP
Dendoncker can be a really frustrating player.
But there is a player in there, and he can be really handy in certain games and situations.
The £12 million star has suggested previously that his own versatility does not particularly help him in terms of building momentum.
That does make sense, it must be hard to gain rhythm when you’re constantly being tried in different positions and roles.
Wolves ought to give Dendoncker a final chance to see if he can improve and be consistent. If he has an ineffective start to 2022/23, then perhaps the club can see about offloading him in January.
Lage recently called him one of the best professionals in the club. So that may point to him staying beyond the summer.
Luke Cundle – LOAN
Cundle was given his first Premier League start against Tottenham Hotspur back in February, and the youngster really impressed.
He then started against Newcastle United, and that was a tougher outing for the teenager. He still did well, but was a little safe on the ball.
He has been killing it for the U23s though, and it feels like the next logical step for Cundle would be to head out on loan and get experience of senior football.
Perhaps he could take the Morgan Gibbs-White pathway and go to a team in the Championship.
That could potentially do wonders for his development.
If Wolves are to bring in new faces, like Joao Palhinha and/or Cheick Doucoure, minutes at Molineux could be hard to come by for Cundle.
Morgan Gibbs-White – KEEP
Gibbs-White was outstanding for Sheffield United on loan in 2021/22.
He scored 13 goals and made 10 assists in 40 appearances, and has surely shown he is worthy of a place in Lage’s first-team squad.
And not only that, but possibly a regular starting berth too.
Either way, Wolves have got to keep him. He deserves a chance after the season he’s had.
There could be temptation for the Wolves board to sell. AC Milan are reported to be interested and it would be no surprise if others came calling.
But Wolves should put their faith in the academy graduate. Most fans would absolutely love him to thrive at Molineux.